Full Time 1 Year Courses

Pathways College has several different courses that are all tailored to help you become more like Christ, and way more useful to Him.

The key focus in all our courses is true discipleship. You will see this through the combination of accedemic study and ministry, the emphasis we put on you having several Mentors throughout your study, and the great Pastoral care we provide as a College. 

You'll see we offer:
Full Time Courses                                                

  • Diploma in Christian Ministry                           -
  • Diploma in Ministry Leadership     
  • Diploma in Pastoral Leadership  
Part Time Courses
  • Certificate in Christian Ministry - Worship Leading

1 Year Diploma in Christian Ministry (DipCM)

The Diploma in Christian Ministry (Internship) DipCM, is a great course to help you develop in your relationship with Christ. It is an excellent combination of normal Bible College Papers, full-on ministry, and great mentoring.

What does the year look like?
The way this year works is pretty unique. You will need to do a minimum of 15 hours of ministry, and 15 hours of study each week. Most students do a lot more than this because they enjoy the ministry and study so much. You can see the papers you will do listed below. All of the lectures are during block courses that run 6 times each year for a full week. You can download a sample calendar of the year here.

What kind of qualification do I end up with?
This is an NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) approved qualification which means you are eligible to apply for Government loans and allowances. Doing supervised ministry enables interns to benefit by learning from experience leaders in a hands-on practical context within the church or para-church organisation.

What will I study?
Each intern completes the following core subjects plus an elective in a chosen Christian service area.


  • Semester 1 - Establishing a balance between ministry, academics and spiritual formation.
  • Semester 2 - Designing a plan for your specific ministry: vision, values and goals.
  • Galatians
  • Interpreting the Bible
  • Old Testament Themes
  • The Gospels - Mark
  • Christian Leadership
  • Church History
  • Ethics
  • Pastoral Care
  • Systematic Theology
  • Tikanga Maori 
  • Spiritual Formation 1
Interns choose one of the following electives (subject to availability):
  • Evangelism & Discipleship
  • Preaching
  • Worship
  • Youth Ministry
  • Ministry Among Children
  • Missions
  • Christian Camping (endorsed by CCNZ)

1 Year Diploma in Ministry Leadership (DipML)

I've completed the Diploma of Christian Ministry - now what?
The Diploma in Ministry Leadership is a one-year course that builds on the Diploma in Christian Ministry Dip CM). You will continue to learn on the job with an experienced supervisor while working in a church or Christian organisation. It is aimed at equipping people for leadership roles and vocational opportunities. It also provides a platform for further levels of study and subsequent vocational opportunities.

How is the qualification structured?
This is an NZQA Level 6 course which requires 18 hours a week of ministry and an average of 12 hours per week study. As with the DipCM, many students do a lot more hours than this.

Lectures are delivered through week long block courses based in Matamata or Wellington as with the DipCM so there are great networking opportuinties throughout both years. Also, as with the DipCM, your ministry is done under the supervision of an experienced leader in a practical context within a church or organization.

What subjects will I study?
Each intern completes the following core subjects plus an elective in a chosen Christian service area.


  • Semester 1 - A review of visions, goals and ministry plan to measure success within the student's area of ministry.
  • Semester 2 - Reflecting on the student's ministry effectiveness, problem solving and implementing change for the future.
  • 1 Corinthians
  • Acts
  • Romans
  • God's Mission in the Old Testament
  • Being the Church
  • Christ and Culture
  • Thinking about the Trinity
  • Research paper
  • Practical Leadership
  • Spiritual Formation 2
Interns choose one of the following electives (subject to availability)
  • Preaching
  • Worship
  • Youth Ministry
  • Christian Camping (endorsed by CCNZ)
  • Evangelism & Discipleship
  • Ministry Among Children
  • Mission

Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership)

As a result of constant requests to see Pathways College offer a program for the training of pastors specifically for Brethren churches, a memorandum of understanding with Carey College now enables this to occur.

A student can complete the Bachelor of Applied Theology through Carey College over three years (more if part-time) while also completing a Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) through Pathways and Carey Colleges. 

It is available to accepted applicants who, in addition to being suitably endorsed by a church or a similar organization, are also perceived as possessing gifts and calling which may lead into church pastoral responsibilities, part- or full-time.

The Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) is not a stand-alone award. It is integrated within the academic framework of the Bachelor of Applied Theology from Carey College (see diagram below) and is offered only to students undertaking this degree. Students who have already completed an equivalent or higher qualification in Bible/theology/ministry may apply for special entry.

The Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) is specifically planned for those who desire to do theological and practical training in preparation for pastoral leadership.

The Diploma recognizes that:

  • Pastoral leadership is undertaken in many different settings
  • There are different types of pastoral staff within the church
  • There are different ways of doing church
  • The specific interests and callings of the students would be reflected in course selection, fieldwork, and supervised experience.
Course structure:

1. Academic
Pastoral Leadership students are required to include the following papers within their Bachelor of Applied Theology [or, if offered special entry, to ensure that if these or similar papers are not already in their degree that they take them alongside their Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) course]:
  • Introduction to Preaching
  • Introduction to Pastoral Care
  • Spiritual Leadership
  • People of God
  • Brethren Studies
2. Fieldwork
Church-based learning experiences are a key component of the programme. Pastoral Leadership students are required to spend 12 hours each week in church ministry (first year students are required only 6 hours in their first semester). It is recommended that students spend an 8-hour day plus Sunday in the church. This includes time for reflection and supervision.

In addition students are required to do summer placements for about 12 weeks between November and February. This is an opportunity to learn the reality of full-time ministry and get exposure to different church contexts. Pathways will make every effort to negotiate church placements for students that will best assist them to learn and grow in the development of their pastoral skills. Students are required to submit written reflections on their ministry experience and meet with a ministry supervisor. A supervisor is assigned within the church to assist integration of knowledge, skill and character.

The aim of church-based learning is that students develop the ability to:
  • Reflect theologically on church based experiences.
  • Identify your strengths, gifts, and passions - developing the weaker ones and establishing the stronger ones.
  • Work collaboratively within team and leadership situations.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Take responsibility for your personal and spiritual growth and development.
  • Establish accountability, support and encouragement networks.
3. Mentorship
Pastoral Leadership Students are to meet at least monthly with a mentor who is an experienced pastor. The purpose of the mentoring is to assist in the development of character and passion. The mentoring process explores the student's daily life in the areas of home, ministry and community in the light of Scriptures.

A mentor is someone who is willing to journey with the student and give guidance in the areas of theological reflection and self-reflection. Pathways will guide in the choice of a mentor. A good mentor is someone who demonstrates maturity, wisdom, courage and grace. They have the willingness to speak into another's life and encourage reflective thinking.

Students will also meet regularly with the Pastoral Leadership Coordinator at Pathways. These sessions will help to integrate different components of the programme to enhance personal and ministry development.

4. Evaluation
Evaluation is an important part of the training process and evaluation/feedback will be received from designated Pathways staff, supervisors, mentors and peers, on a regular basis. Each year there are two significant evaluations. Firstly, a mid-year review with the Pathways Pastoral Leadership Coordinator. Secondly, a more significant and robust review with the wider group of people involved in their training.

5. Pastoral Theology
Pastoral Theology is a weekly 90-minute class organised by Carey College for all Pastoral Leadership students on a Tuesday morning. A presentation on a pastoral leadership issue is given each Tuesday followed by 30 minutes of interaction in a peer formation group. Sometimes more time is scheduled for peer formation groups. Spouses are encouraged to participate when they are able. The purpose of this class is as follows:
  • To develop an appreciation of how theology influences practice
  • To develop strong pastoral leadership values, philosophy and culture within our students
  • To synthesize your study, fieldwork, and experiences - attempting to look at them through pastoral lenses.
  • To develop critical thinking skills, and understand the difference between idealism and realism.
  • To provide a forum for discussion and reflection on current issues within the church and the world.
  • To have input from both academics and practitioners.
  • To interact with one another and develop relationships.
  • To develop team building skills.
Students are also required to attend community worship, speaker's corner (to develop preaching skills) and lunch on Tuesdays (9am to 1pm). The Pastoral Theology programme is scheduled for 24 Tuesdays each year.

Students are required to keep a journal based on these class sessions and accompanying reading. The purpose of this journal is to consolidate understanding of these topics and connect theories to one's practical work and experiences.

Applicability of the Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) Course to Christian Brethren Churches:

Bachelor of Applied Theology courses offered at Carey College are taught by Carey faculty (some of whom are members of Brethren assemblies) and from time-to-time will include input from Pathways staff. These courses overlap with requirements for the Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) - see diagram below. The Bachelor of Applied Theology may be taken through distance education, attendance at classes at Carey's Auckland campus, or a blend of these modes of learning.

In addition to the Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) classes offered at Carey College, there is specific lecture content and small group tutorials taught by Pathways College faculty. These are directed to the particular ministry contexts for Brethren students. Attendance (on each Tuesday of the academic year) at these and associated Carey classes is a course requirement. Note that the Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) at both Carey and Pathways is only offered in the context of denominational endorsement; consequently loyalty is held highly and a denominational change during the program excludes a student from the award.

A Pastoral Leadership student would graduate at the conclusion of their studies with a Bachelor of Applied Theology from Carey College and a Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) jointly from Carey and Pathways Colleges.

Graduates with the Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) are offered an important further recognition, earned during the following two years of pastoral leadership: a Ministry Experience Endorsement. This is designed to facilitate successful entry into pastoral responsibilities, encourage the consolidation of gift and competency, and establish lifestyle disciplines which undergird longevity in ministry. The opportunity to participate in the program of ministry development offers graduates (and churches) two years of supported, mentored, and reflective pastoral experience. It is also available to other pastoral workers within the Brethren movement whose training and equipping has been through other institutions.

At the satisfactory conclusion of the above process of ministry development, and in association with their church, Pathways offers a ministry experience endorsement to the Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership).

Further information:

For further details on the Bachelor of Applied Theology and Carey's Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) see the Carey Baptist College website.

Further details are available on the Diploma of Ministry (Pastoral Leadership) through Pathways College. For application papers, schedule of fees, course requirements and scholarship possibilities - write or email the Pastoral Leadership Coordinator, Pathways College.

Part Time Courses

School of Worship Leading

Part Time - One Year Certificate in Christian Ministry

This course gives current worship leaders the opportunity to invest in a year of developing and refining your skills at a part-time capacity. It is designed to keep you ministering in your local church setting while being trained at centrally located intensives by some of New Zealand's finest worship leaders.

This course aims to take someone with a great heart and musical ability and mould them into a fully competent, trained and equipped worship leader for their church context. They will be trained by great worship leaders all around NZ in areas of leadership, song writing, music performance, team building, technical, planning, confidence and spiritual development. If you have a passion for Worship Leading and want to further your ability then this could be for you.

Check out the School of Worship Leading page for more information.

Leadership - Trinity Leadership Foundation